Turn some York streets cycle-only during lockdown, say campaigners

Could more streets become cycle only? Photograph: YorkMix
28 Apr 2020 @ 7.48 am
| Transport

Cycling is playing a crucial role during the Covid-19 crisis and needs to be supported.

That’s the message behind a campaign to turn some York roads cycle-only for the duration of the emergency.

York Cycle Campaign is calling on the council to reallocate road space from motorised traffic to bikes.

The campaign says:

  • In particular we’d like to see temporary bollards installed to prevent through traffic using residential roads.

    Given the significant reduction in traffic city-wide this measure would not add to traffic congestion or inconvenience drivers, and instead it would open up a network of safe quiet streets for cyclists and pedestrians.

Campaigners have launched a petition calling for City of York Council to temporarily reallocate some road space from vehicles, to people on foot and cycles.

Speeding cars a worry

Monkgate in lockdown. Photographs: Richard McDougall

The drop in vehicle traffic has encouraged more people to start cycling.

“But sadly the quieter roads have also resulted in a rise in motorists driving at extreme speeds, with some parts of the country recording twice the number of speeding offences as normal,” campaigners say.

“Many cyclists are also experiencing a worrying number of close-passes.”

Creating bike-only spaces would combat that problem.

The cycle campaign would also like to see temporary cycling space created on some of the main roads through the city, particularly “in bottleneck areas including bridges over rivers, rail lines and the ring-road.

“This may require some creative thinking and the introduction of temporary one-way systems for drivers, to accommodate the necessary safe space for cyclists.”

To promote safe social distancing, they suggest that barriers on cycle routes are relaxed – for example removing the humps and baffles on the barriers to Hob Moor. That could minimise the chance of Covid-19 being transmitted via touching of hard surfaces.